Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Information about Sunday worship at GA

I did a little fussing about the change to an afternoon worship service at the Portland GA and received this from Beth McGregor, vice chair of the committee and receiving feedback in the absence of the chair Linda Friedman . I hope they reconsider, but it may be a done deal. I've lodged my objections. If you would like to send your own feedback to Beth, she is at EPJMcG@aol.com

"There are a number of changes in the Portland GA schedule that people may be
interested in.

First, we're creating space in the schedule on each day for a highly
interactive process called Open Space Technology, designed to gather input to help
steer our Association in the future.

To make room for this process, we are cutting back on the hours of plenary,
reducing the number of reports, and we will have 12 regular workshop time
blocks, with a reduction from last year in the number of workshops led by
Independent Affiliates, Associate organizations, and staff.

To allow people time to travel home for work on Monday, we are ending the GA
at 6 PM Sunday, with Closing Worship from 4-6.

Sunday's schedule reflects the most changes. Here's the way the grid looks:
7-7:30 AM: Morning Spiritual Practices
8-8:25 AM: Hymn Sing (led by GA choir members)
8:30-11 AM: Plenary 7 (including SOC, AIW's)
11:30-12:45: Program slot 12
1:00-1:30 PM: GA Choir Concert
1:30-3:30 PM: Plenary 8 (including votes emerging from the Open Space
process and the Moderator's Report)
4-6 PM: Closing Worship, with sermon by the Rev. Josh Pawalek and music by
the choir of First UU Church Portland. This worship service will welcome
public attendance. The exhibit hall will also be open to the public on Sunday.

These changes were worked out by collaboration of the Planning Committee,
Moderator, President, and Youth and UUA Board reps. It's an experiment--we'll
see how it works, but we're excited about the possibilities."

Beth McGregor
GA Planning Committee


boyinthebands said...

My prediction? Most Easterners will choose to leave than say for the service (and thus stay over another night anyway.)

Sounds like a bust to me.

ms. kitty said...

I agree, Scott, and I think that's a huge shame. Folks on the East Coast often think of the Pacific Northwest as unknown territory as it is. I wish that they could be persuaded to stay longer.

Portland is a wonderful city and GA is the only chance many will have to visit it.

LinguistFriend said...

I expect that the effect will depend much on people's preferred mode of travel (fly or drive), and on their stage in life and type of employment. As an academic, relatively flexible for time use in the summer, I could stay over, but for this June's GA I left St. Louis driving on Sun. AM, to get home late the same day. I would guess that next year, as Scott says, even many of those who fly will leave before the late afternoon service. But I am tentatively planning to drive from the Midwest to Oregon, since I have not seen the northwestern states, so on such a time scale a few hours more or less in Portland would not count much. Besides, there must be some reason that so many people move from California to the northwestern states to retire.

ms. kitty said...

I think there's a mystery about the Northwest among many who have never visited here. Once when I was in Boston applying for a position with the UUA, Kaye Montgomery asked me "what is it about UUs in the West, Kit?" in a tone of voice that implied (or maybe I just inferred) that she did not comprehend the attitude or behavior of folks on the Left Coast.

Having been a Leftie all my life (geographically, anyhow) and on my first real visit to the Right Coast, I was taken aback and stuttered out some response about frontiers and pioneers. But I could tell my answer didn't help any!

LinguistFriend said...

Although I was born in Virginia, I have spent much of my life in the
Boston area, and feel more at home there than elsewhere. The far Midwest and real West do not look real, seen from there. Europe and even Asia are closer, culturally, from an academic point of view. At Harvard grad school, I would forget that my scholarly friend Bruce Bolling was from Iowa City (deservedly called the Prague of the Midwest by some, with the highest average level of education of any city in the USA), and say, "Where are you from Bruce, Kansas?" It all looks a very long way from Boston, and culturally is much more distant than the real Prague, except for a few islands such as UCLA, Berkeley, and

ms. kitty said...

Yes, I think we are a different breed of cat out here. During my 34 years in Colorado, where folks thought of themselves as the "real West", I was reminded repeatedly of how different the PNW is from other "Wests".

We are lots different from California. I admit to feeling uncomfortable just crossing the border into California, like I'm in alien territory, even though I have many friends in California!

There's something about the ocean, rain and trees of Western Washington/Oregon, something about the ranchland of Eastern WA/OR, that is different from the somethings-similar of other parts of the country.

Now that I'm home again, I doubt I'll ever live anywhere else.

ms. kitty said...
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